Winter Car Care & Maintenance Tips
At UK Carline we know winter can be hard on your car, so we’ve come up with some winter car care tips to help keep your car in shape, and keep you off the hard shoulder on your way home.
Windscreen & Visibility
Iced over window? We don’t recommend you drive until your windscreen is totally clear. Simple. Pouring water straight from the kettle isn’t a great idea; instead use room temperature water, cover your windscreen at night with a blanket, and/or invest in some de-icer spray. To speed things along, we suggest you get your engine running a good ten minutes before you need to set off.
Make sure your wiper blades are kept in the best condition they can be – it is generally recommended you replace them every 6 months. You are able to buy special winter wiper blades and cold weather washing fluid.
In recent years, the police have been issuing fines to motorists who fail to remove loose snow from their vehicles before driving. Loose snow flying off moving cars can provide a significant danger to both you and other road users.
Police have also been cracking down on headlight and registration place visibility. It is important to make sure your lights are clear, working properly, and aimed correctly; and that your registration plate is clean of any dirt.
Your tyres are one of the most important aspects of winter car care, as they are the only part of your car that should be in contact with the road. By law you are required to have 1.6mm depth on your tread, however the AA recommend you have double this for winter driving, as a deep tread will make aquaplaning less likely and give you much more traction on the road.
During winter we suggest you check your tyre pressure weekly (at least) to ensure it is up to manufacturer guidelines.
Battery & Engine
Up to a third of roadside assistance callouts during winter are because of battery trouble. We all use our heaters, lights and other gadgets and toys that little bit more during the winter, which makes our batteries work that little bit harder each time.
Best practice for keeping your battery in shape would be to not use features, such as the heaters, more than absolutely necessary; and to keep a regular charge running through it. Your battery is much less likely to fail if you don’t leave your car unused for long periods of time.
Anti-freeze is vital to prevent your car’s engine from freezing over, and should be kept topped up regularly. As a general rule you should flush your anti-freeze every couple of years to keep the system in top condition.
Your oil levels should be checked weekly. Clean and efficient engine oil is key in keeping your engine running during winter.
Make sure to adapt your driving style for the winter conditions – driving slower and more careful maneuvers are important to staying safe on the road. Make sure you leave that little bit more room between yourself and the car in front in case of the need to brake suddenly.
Stick to the main roads wherever possible, as they are far more likely to have been gritted and/or cleared. If you start to skid, steer in the direction you want to go in and avoid harsh braking.
You could follow these winter car care tips to the letter and still have things go awry – however prevention is better (and cheaper) than a fix, and you won’t go far wrong.
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